Vietnam has reported African swine fever (ASF) for the first time, and new cases in domestic pigs have been recorded in the past week in China, Italy, Mongolia, Poland, Romania and Zimbabwe.
First cases of ASF have been reported in Vietnam. Pigs at three farms in two provinces in the north of the country — Thai Binh and Hung Yen — have tested positive for the virus, reports Vietnam Plus, and the virus has subsequently been detected in neighboring backyard pig herds of the Thai Binh outbreak, but not at nearby farms. In Hung Yen, samples from other farms in the area are still being analyzed.
Culling of infected pigs and thorough disinfection of the premises have been ordered by the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development. Surveillance of all pig farms in affected communes is ongoing, and the transport and slaughter of pigs are being tightly controlled by the authorities.
Based on information from the World Organisation for Animal Health (OIE), this is the first time ASF has ever been reported in Vietnam.
More outbreaks in China
In China, two new ASF outbreaks have been confirmed at farms in the city of Beihai in Guangxi Zhuang Autonomous Region in the south of the country. According to Xinhua, almost 1,000 pigs died out of the two herds totaling 23,555 animals. Officials have been sent to the area to cull infected animals, disinfect premises and halt pig movements.
There has also been a confirmed outbreak in Hunan province in the southeast of China. According to the agriculture ministry report to the OIE, 171 pigs died and more than 4,600 were culled at a farm in the Yongzhou district in early February.
Officials from the agriculture ministry and other agencies are investigating how ASF-contaminated pork came to be found in food products. Although ASF does not affect human health, the agencies have called on all those in the food chain to improve controls or face severe punishment.
ASF virus was detected in frozen pork dumplings from a firm in central China, according to the South China Morning Post, and preliminary results indicate traces of the virus in meat products from other companies.
Animal health officials in Mongolia report that almost 2,400 pigs have been culled in the country in order to control the spread of ASF since the first cases were confirmed in mid-January, according to Xinhua.
The country’s agriculture ministry has reported to the OIE another outbreak of ASF in what is described as a “backyard” pig herd of almost 900 animals in Tuv province. More than 300 cases of the disease were found, and 584 pigs were culled. This brings to 11 the total number of outbreaks in Mongolia since January.
Africa: ASF returns to Zimbabwe
After an absence of three years, the ASF was detected in a free-range village pigs in Zimbabwe in January, according to the latest report of the Department for Livestock and Veterinary Services to the OIE. There were 156 cases among 678 animals in Manicaland, a province in the northeast of the country, bordering Mozambique.
The area has been put under quarantine, veterinary checkpoints have been set up, and disease surveillance is ongoing.
Europe: domestic pigs infected with ASF in Italy, Poland, Romania
In the period from February 7-13, there were eight outbreaks of ASF in domestic pigs in Europe, according to the latest weekly report from the European Commission (EC). Seven of these were in Romania, and one was in Italy.
Romania’s animal health agency has reported 19 new outbreaks of the disease to the OIE. All cases were in small backyard herds of no more than 22 animals, mainly in southeastern and northwestern counties.
ASF was detected at a farm in Poland in the last week of January, according to a new report from the agriculture ministry to the OIE. Five pigs died and a further 62 were culled at the premises in Warmia-Masuria. This province is in the northeast of the country, where the disease continues to be detected in the wild boar living in the forests of the area.
ASF detected in European wild boar populations
A total of 188 ASF outbreaks in wild boar were confirmed in the week following February 7, according to the latest EC data.
Countries reporting the highest number of outbreaks were Belgium (52), Poland (49), and Hungary (40). There were also new cases in Bulgaria, Estonia, Italy, Latvia, Lithuania, Romania and Ukraine.
View our continuing coverage of the African swine fever outbreak.